St. Anthony Boys Golf Team Looking To Reload This Season

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Published on August 20 2013 4:38 pm
Last Updated on August 20 2013 4:38 pm
Written by Millie Lange

St. Anthony High School graduate six seniors and four of the top six players from the boys golf team so Coach Phil Zaccari knows the squad will have to reload this season.

"Early experience in tournaments will help us get prepared for post season."said Zaccari. "With only four returning letterwinners, our strong schedule will help to get our younger players the experience we will need to achieve our goals."

Returning for the Bulldogs are senior Nick Wortman, a two-year letterman, juniors Connor Greene and Garrett Hixenbaugh, two-year lettermen, and  junior Sam Wortman, a one year letterman.

"Nick is focusing mainly on golf this year after doubling with the soccer team last year," said Zaccari. "His dedication has paid off knowing he will need to step up his senior year and has given him a different focus. He was our low average winner for the junior varsity last season and saw action in a number of varsity matches. We will need his leadership this season.

"Connor dedicated his summer to improving his game and it has paid off.  Summer tournaments and hard work have made him one of the better high school golfers in the area. With State Finals experience, Connor will be asked to show that strong upperclass leadership and help develop our underclassmen.  

"Garrett had a breakout year as a sophomore and was our low individual at the state finals. After an early summer car accident put him a little behind in his development, he has come on strong getting back to the form he was in last year.  With State Finals experience, Garrett will be asked to show that consistency in helping our team get ready for regional.

"Sam came on last year and was a consistent scorer for our J.V. team.  He saw some varsity action late in the year and accompanied the team to state. He has improved over the summer but still needs to be more consistent. Early season tournaments will give him that experience as he continues to improve.

The Bulldogs have won 15 regional titles, seven sectional championships and were state champions in 2001, 2002 and 2009 and runners-up in 2006 and 2010. They also took third in 2008 and fourth in 2007.

Coach Zaccari talked about his non-lettermen who will help the squad this season.
Non-Letterwinners:

"Senior Kyle Britton has always shown great potential but just could not break into the varsity line-up. This is his year to break out. He has been a mainstay on the junior varsity for the past couple years and that experience will help transition to the next level.  

"Juniors Nate Schmidt and Gus Koester dedicated the summer to getting better and it has shown early. They will compete for a top six spot but will mainly anchor our J.V. As the season progresses don’t be surprised if they are consistently with the varsity. Consistency will determine that jump.

"Sophomores Jared Hutchison and Jeff Niebrugge have shown the most promise early in qualifiers. Jeff has been in the 70’s while Jared is in the low 80’s.  Their continued development and improvement will be key for us to make it back to Bloomington. So far they seem to be headed in the right direction.

"Freshmen Niko Dust, Ethan Greene, Trey Koester, Mitchell Sager and Jacob Schmidt will make up the core of our J.V. this year. They all have tremendous potential and the more they improve and gain experience they will continue to keep St. Anthony as a solid golf team for years to come.

St. Anthony High School Men’s Golf Team

Seniors

Kyle Britton, Nick Wortman*

Juniors

Connor Greene*, Garrett Hixenbaugh*, Gus Koester, Nate Schmidt, Sam Wortman*

Sophomores

Jared Hutchinson, Jeff Niebrugge

Freshmen

Ethan Green, Trey Koester, Mitchell Sager, Niko Dust, Jacob Schmidt

* -- denotes last season letter-winners

SCHEDULE

(Changes may occur as the season progresses)

Monday, August 19 -- St. Anthony Invitational, Fox Prairie, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, August 20 -- Raider Invite, Weibring G.C., 1 p.m.

Friday, August 23 -- Macomb-Pleasant Plains, Macomb CC, 4 p.m.

Saturday, August 24 -- Macomb Invitational, Macomb CC, 8 a.m.

Monday, August 26 -- Champaign Centennial Tournament, U of I Orange, noon

Saturday, August 31 -- Bishop McNamara Invite, Kankakee Elks, 1 p.m.

Monday, September 3 -- Salem Salem CC, 4 p.m.

Thursday, September 5 -- Challenge at the Den, The Den, 1 p.m.

Friday, September 13 -- Mattoon Tournament, Meadowview, 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 14 -- Mattoon Tournament, MCC, 8 a.m.

Monday, September 16 -- Robinson Quail Creek CC, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, September 17 -- St. Thomas More, ECC, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 21 -- Windsor Invitational, Fox Prairie, 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, September 25 -- Olney/Mt. Carmel, Olney, 4 p.m.

Friday, September 27 -- Charleston Invitational, Charleston CC, 1 p.m.

Saturday, September 28 -- Centralia Invitational, Weibring GC, 8 a.m.

Monday, September 30 -- St. Thomas More, BCC, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8 -- IHSA Regional, ECC, 9 a.m.

Tuesday, October 14 -- IHSA Sectional, Quail Creek, TBA

October 17-18 -- IHSA State Finals, Prairie Vista, TBA